Scarlet Knights

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The Scarlet Knights are an inactive junior based in Waukegan, Illinois


The Scarlet Knights were originally from Grayslake, Illinois, later moving to Gurnee, then Waukegan. Sponsored by the American Legion post #771 [1] in Gurnee and the VFW in Waukegan, the corps achieved some small success in their earliest years in the late 1950s, all but disappeared in the mid to late 60s, and re-emerged in the early 1970s as a class C, then a class B corps (today's Div 3 and Div 2, respectively).

The corps' uniforms were modeled after the Cavaliers uniform of the day, with a red satin blouse, black pants with white stripe, a white sash, a white ascot, and black shakos. Musically, their 1970s repertoires reflected the eclectic programming of the day, with Santana, Deep Purple, and The Carpenters coming face to face with Aaron Copland, Gustav Holst, and Rachmaninoff. Staff members for the corps came from most of the leading 'big corps' in the Chicago/Wisconsin area, with alumni of the Cavaliers, Des Plaines Vanguard, and Kilts being predominant on staff.

The Scarlet Knights most successful seasons were in the mid 70s, with finals appearances in the 1974, 75, and 76 VFW and American Legion State competitions. The corps' last year of a full field presentation was 1976. A change in management and a shortfall of funds forced the Scarlet Knights into 'parade corps' status in 1977. They remained together as a parade corps for an additional two years, finally folding after the 1979 season.

While the Scarlet Knights never achieved great competitive significance, the training their members received stood them in good stead, with many alums later going to successful seasons as members of Guardsmen, The Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment, and The Kilts.


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